Our Food Trends of the Future study, conducted in summer 2018, shows that the health trend still continues strong in the Nordic countries. People are interested in plant-based foods, new proteins and diets tailored to their health needs. Many are willing to reduce meat consumption to mitigate climate impacts. Locally produced, sustainable ingredients are welcome on the lunch menu.
Fazer Lifestyle Foods combines foods that enhance well-being with products for those who seek to reduce the environmental strain of global food production. Its offering includes fruity Froosh smoothies, Fazer Yosa oat products and non-dairy drinks as well as Frebaco and Fazer Alku oat-based breakfast foods, and oat derivatives for the food, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals industries. The investment in a new factory in Lahti, Finland, which will utilise state-of-the-art technology to produce xylitol from oat hulls – a side stream of the oat milling process – marks a further step on the way towards enhanced sustainability and circular economy through innovation. The works on the site in Lahti have already been started.
Performance in 2018
Fazer Lifestyle Foods’ net sales, supported by the acquisitions completed in 2017, increased clearly from the previous year. Competition is tightening in the smoothie and non-dairy markets, with both branded and large private label competitors vying for market share. In the cereals business, higher raw material costs led to price increases in Finland during the last few months of the year. Significant investments were made in Fazer Lifestyle Foods’ organisational development and marketing activities to ensure future growth.
Several new products were launched during the year under existing brands. The Froosh smoothie range was complemented with functional smoothies produced solely from plant-based ingredients: Froosh plus energy, Froosh plus protein and Froosh plus natural herbs. Cereals and organic porridges were launched under the Fazer Alku breakfast food brand.
The Fazer Yosa oat product family was expanded with eight products, and the brand was refreshed with, for example, new packaging design. The well-established brand, acquired by Fazer in 2017, was the first of its category in Finland. Oat-based products have sparked global interest, and we want to stay at the forefront in developing this category. Nordic oats are highly regarded around the world, and Fazer Yosa products are well positioned in the tightening competition.
New products and innovations were developed also to be introduced in 2019 and beyond.
A sustainable, health-conscious lifestyle is shifting from early adopters to mainstream. Fazer Lifestyle Foods is a strong growth area for us and will have a significant role in our geographical expansion beyond the Nordics. We aim to complement organic development with acquisitions.
We will build an innovative, consumer insight driven offering in the categories of non-dairy, plant-based meals, cereals and fruits. Customers will be able to choose their favourites from a wide selection including “throughout-the-day” food products and premium on-the-go food and beverages. We will create a world-class branded offering representing outstanding taste and creativity.
Implementation and finetuning of the growth strategy will continue in the business area, with the development of plant-based meals and marketing strategy as important focus points. The strong concept and brands, together with organisational efficiency and investments in sales and marketing, support us in reaching our ambitious targets.